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American Notes for General Circulation by Charles Dickens

Part 5 out of 6

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hostess at the head of the table, and opposite, a simple Welsh
schoolmaster with his wife and child; who came here, on a
speculation of greater promise than performance, to teach the
classics: and they are sufficient subjects of interest until the
meal is over, and another coach is ready. In it we go on once
more, lighted by a bright moon, until midnight; when we stop to
change the coach again, and remain for half an hour or so in a
miserable room, with a blurred lithograph of Washington over the
smoky fire-place, and a mighty jug of cold water on the table: to
which refreshment the moody passengers do so apply themselves that
they would seem to be, one and all, keen patients of Dr. Sangrado.
Among them is a very little boy, who chews tobacco like a very big
one; and a droning gentleman, who talks arithmetically and
statistically on all subjects, from poetry downwards; and who
always speaks in the same key, with exactly the same emphasis, and
with very grave deliberation. He came outside just now, and told
me how that the uncle of a certain young lady who had been spirited
away and married by a certain captain, lived in these parts; and
how this uncle was so valiant and ferocious that he shouldn't
wonder if he were to follow the said captain to England, 'and shoot
him down in the street wherever he found him;' in the feasibility
of which strong measure I, being for the moment rather prone to
contradiction, from feeling half asleep and very tired, declined to
acquiesce: assuring him that if the uncle did resort to it, or
gratified any other little whim of the like nature, he would find
himself one morning prematurely throttled at the Old Bailey: and
that he would do well to make his will before he went, as he would
certainly want it before he had been in Britain very long.

On we go, all night, and by-and-by the day begins to break, and
presently the first cheerful rays of the warm sun come slanting on
us brightly. It sheds its light upon a miserable waste of sodden
grass, and dull trees, and squalid huts, whose aspect is forlorn
and grievous in the last degree. A very desert in the wood, whose
growth of green is dank and noxious like that upon the top of
standing water: where poisonous fungus grows in the rare footprint
on the oozy ground, and sprouts like witches' coral, from the
crevices in the cabin wall and floor; it is a hideous thing to lie
upon the very threshold of a city. But it was purchased years ago,
and as the owner cannot be discovered, the State has been unable to
reclaim it. So there it remains, in the midst of cultivation and
improvement, like ground accursed, and made obscene and rank by
some great crime.

We reached Columbus shortly before seven o'clock, and stayed there,
to refresh, that day and night: having excellent apartments in a
very large unfinished hotel called the Neill House, which were
richly fitted with the polished wood of the black walnut, and
opened on a handsome portico and stone verandah, like rooms in some
Italian mansion. The town is clean and pretty, and of course is
'going to be' much larger. It is the seat of the State legislature
of Ohio, and lays claim, in consequence, to some consideration and

There being no stage-coach next day, upon the road we wished to
take, I hired 'an extra,' at a reasonable charge to carry us to
Tiffin; a small town from whence there is a railroad to Sandusky.
This extra was an ordinary four-horse stage-coach, such as I have
described, changing horses and drivers, as the stage-coach would,
but was exclusively our own for the journey. To ensure our having
horses at the proper stations, and being incommoded by no
strangers, the proprietors sent an agent on the box, who was to
accompany us the whole way through; and thus attended, and bearing
with us, besides, a hamper full of savoury cold meats, and fruit,
and wine, we started off again in high spirits, at half-past six
o'clock next morning, very much delighted to be by ourselves, and
disposed to enjoy even the roughest journey.

It was well for us, that we were in this humour, for the road we
went over that day, was certainly enough to have shaken tempers
that were not resolutely at Set Fair, down to some inches below
Stormy. At one time we were all flung together in a heap at the
bottom of the coach, and at another we were crushing our heads
against the roof. Now, one side was down deep in the mire, and we
were holding on to the other. Now, the coach was lying on the
tails of the two wheelers; and now it was rearing up in the air, in
a frantic state, with all four horses standing on the top of an
insurmountable eminence, looking coolly back at it, as though they
would say 'Unharness us. It can't be done.' The drivers on these
roads, who certainly get over the ground in a manner which is quite
miraculous, so twist and turn the team about in forcing a passage,
corkscrew fashion, through the bogs and swamps, that it was quite a
common circumstance on looking out of the window, to see the
coachman with the ends of a pair of reins in his hands, apparently
driving nothing, or playing at horses, and the leaders staring at
one unexpectedly from the back of the coach, as if they had some
idea of getting up behind. A great portion of the way was over
what is called a corduroy road, which is made by throwing trunks of
trees into a marsh, and leaving them to settle there. The very
slightest of the jolts with which the ponderous carriage fell from
log to log, was enough, it seemed, to have dislocated all the bones
in the human body. It would be impossible to experience a similar
set of sensations, in any other circumstances, unless perhaps in
attempting to go up to the top of St. Paul's in an omnibus. Never,
never once, that day, was the coach in any position, attitude, or
kind of motion to which we are accustomed in coaches. Never did it
make the smallest approach to one's experience of the proceedings
of any sort of vehicle that goes on wheels.

Still, it was a fine day, and the temperature was delicious, and
though we had left Summer behind us in the west, and were fast
leaving Spring, we were moving towards Niagara and home. We
alighted in a pleasant wood towards the middle of the day, dined on
a fallen tree, and leaving our best fragments with a cottager, and
our worst with the pigs (who swarm in this part of the country like
grains of sand on the sea-shore, to the great comfort of our
commissariat in Canada), we went forward again, gaily.

As night came on, the track grew narrower and narrower, until at
last it so lost itself among the trees, that the driver seemed to
find his way by instinct. We had the comfort of knowing, at least,
that there was no danger of his falling asleep, for every now and
then a wheel would strike against an unseen stump with such a jerk,
that he was fain to hold on pretty tight and pretty quick, to keep
himself upon the box. Nor was there any reason to dread the least
danger from furious driving, inasmuch as over that broken ground
the horses had enough to do to walk; as to shying, there was no
room for that; and a herd of wild elephants could not have run away
in such a wood, with such a coach at their heels. So we stumbled
along, quite satisfied.

These stumps of trees are a curious feature in American travelling.
The varying illusions they present to the unaccustomed eye as it
grows dark, are quite astonishing in their number and reality.
Now, there is a Grecian urn erected in the centre of a lonely
field; now there is a woman weeping at a tomb; now a very
commonplace old gentleman in a white waistcoat, with a thumb thrust
into each arm-hole of his coat; now a student poring on a book; now
a crouching negro; now, a horse, a dog, a cannon, an armed man; a
hunch-back throwing off his cloak and stepping forth into the
light. They were often as entertaining to me as so many glasses in
a magic lantern, and never took their shapes at my bidding, but
seemed to force themselves upon me, whether I would or no; and
strange to say, I sometimes recognised in them counterparts of
figures once familiar to me in pictures attached to childish books,
forgotten long ago.

It soon became too dark, however, even for this amusement, and the
trees were so close together that their dry branches rattled
against the coach on either side, and obliged us all to keep our
heads within. It lightened too, for three whole hours; each flash
being very bright, and blue, and long; and as the vivid streaks
came darting in among the crowded branches, and the thunder rolled
gloomily above the tree tops, one could scarcely help thinking that
there were better neighbourhoods at such a time than thick woods

At length, between ten and eleven o'clock at night, a few feeble
lights appeared in the distance, and Upper Sandusky, an Indian
village, where we were to stay till morning, lay before us.

They were gone to bed at the log Inn, which was the only house of
entertainment in the place, but soon answered to our knocking, and
got some tea for us in a sort of kitchen or common room, tapestried
with old newspapers, pasted against the wall. The bed-chamber to
which my wife and I were shown, was a large, low, ghostly room;
with a quantity of withered branches on the hearth, and two doors
without any fastening, opposite to each other, both opening on the
black night and wild country, and so contrived, that one of them
always blew the other open: a novelty in domestic architecture,
which I do not remember to have seen before, and which I was
somewhat disconcerted to have forced on my attention after getting
into bed, as I had a considerable sum in gold for our travelling
expenses, in my dressing-case. Some of the luggage, however, piled
against the panels, soon settled this difficulty, and my sleep
would not have been very much affected that night, I believe,
though it had failed to do so.

My Boston friend climbed up to bed, somewhere in the roof, where
another guest was already snoring hugely. But being bitten beyond
his power of endurance, he turned out again, and fled for shelter
to the coach, which was airing itself in front of the house. This
was not a very politic step, as it turned out; for the pigs
scenting him, and looking upon the coach as a kind of pie with some
manner of meat inside, grunted round it so hideously, that he was
afraid to come out again, and lay there shivering, till morning.
Nor was it possible to warm him, when he did come out, by means of
a glass of brandy: for in Indian villages, the legislature, with a
very good and wise intention, forbids the sale of spirits by tavern
keepers. The precaution, however, is quite inefficacious, for the
Indians never fail to procure liquor of a worse kind, at a dearer
price, from travelling pedlars.

It is a settlement of the Wyandot Indians who inhabit this place.
Among the company at breakfast was a mild old gentleman, who had
been for many years employed by the United States Government in
conducting negotiations with the Indians, and who had just
concluded a treaty with these people by which they bound
themselves, in consideration of a certain annual sum, to remove
next year to some land provided for them, west of the Mississippi,
and a little way beyond St. Louis. He gave me a moving account of
their strong attachment to the familiar scenes of their infancy,
and in particular to the burial-places of their kindred; and of
their great reluctance to leave them. He had witnessed many such
removals, and always with pain, though he knew that they departed
for their own good. The question whether this tribe should go or
stay, had been discussed among them a day or two before, in a hut
erected for the purpose, the logs of which still lay upon the
ground before the inn. When the speaking was done, the ayes and
noes were ranged on opposite sides, and every male adult voted in
his turn. The moment the result was known, the minority (a large
one) cheerfully yielded to the rest, and withdrew all kind of

We met some of these poor Indians afterwards, riding on shaggy
ponies. They were so like the meaner sort of gipsies, that if I
could have seen any of them in England, I should have concluded, as
a matter of course, that they belonged to that wandering and
restless people.

Leaving this town directly after breakfast, we pushed forward
again, over a rather worse road than yesterday, if possible, and
arrived about noon at Tiffin, where we parted with the extra. At
two o'clock we took the railroad; the travelling on which was very
slow, its construction being indifferent, and the ground wet and
marshy; and arrived at Sandusky in time to dine that evening. We
put up at a comfortable little hotel on the brink of Lake Erie, lay
there that night, and had no choice but to wait there next day,
until a steamboat bound for Buffalo appeared. The town, which was
sluggish and uninteresting enough, was something like the back of
an English watering-place, out of the season.

Our host, who was very attentive and anxious to make us
comfortable, was a handsome middle-aged man, who had come to this
town from New England, in which part of the country he was
'raised.' When I say that he constantly walked in and out of the
room with his hat on; and stopped to converse in the same free-and-
easy state; and lay down on our sofa, and pulled his newspaper out
of his pocket, and read it at his ease; I merely mention these
traits as characteristic of the country: not at all as being
matter of complaint, or as having been disagreeable to me. I
should undoubtedly be offended by such proceedings at home, because
there they are not the custom, and where they are not, they would
be impertinencies; but in America, the only desire of a good-
natured fellow of this kind, is to treat his guests hospitably and
well; and I had no more right, and I can truly say no more
disposition, to measure his conduct by our English rule and
standard, than I had to quarrel with him for not being of the exact
stature which would qualify him for admission into the Queen's
grenadier guards. As little inclination had I to find fault with a
funny old lady who was an upper domestic in this establishment, and
who, when she came to wait upon us at any meal, sat herself down
comfortably in the most convenient chair, and producing a large pin
to pick her teeth with, remained performing that ceremony, and
steadfastly regarding us meanwhile with much gravity and composure
(now and then pressing us to eat a little more), until it was time
to clear away. It was enough for us, that whatever we wished done
was done with great civility and readiness, and a desire to oblige,
not only here, but everywhere else; and that all our wants were, in
general, zealously anticipated.

We were taking an early dinner at this house, on the day after our
arrival, which was Sunday, when a steamboat came in sight, and
presently touched at the wharf. As she proved to be on her way to
Buffalo, we hurried on board with all speed, and soon left Sandusky
far behind us.

She was a large vessel of five hundred tons, and handsomely fitted
up, though with high-pressure engines; which always conveyed that
kind of feeling to me, which I should be likely to experience, I
think, if I had lodgings on the first-floor of a powder-mill. She
was laden with flour, some casks of which commodity were stored
upon the deck. The captain coming up to have a little
conversation, and to introduce a friend, seated himself astride of
one of these barrels, like a Bacchus of private life; and pulling a
great clasp-knife out of his pocket, began to 'whittle' it as he
talked, by paring thin slices off the edges. And he whittled with
such industry and hearty good will, that but for his being called
away very soon, it must have disappeared bodily, and left nothing
in its place but grist and shavings.

After calling at one or two flat places, with low dams stretching
out into the lake, whereon were stumpy lighthouses, like windmills
without sails, the whole looking like a Dutch vignette, we came at
midnight to Cleveland, where we lay all night, and until nine
o'clock next morning.

I entertained quite a curiosity in reference to this place, from
having seen at Sandusky a specimen of its literature in the shape
of a newspaper, which was very strong indeed upon the subject of
Lord Ashburton's recent arrival at Washington, to adjust the points
in dispute between the United States Government and Great Britain:
informing its readers that as America had 'whipped' England in her
infancy, and whipped her again in her youth, so it was clearly
necessary that she must whip her once again in her maturity; and
pledging its credit to all True Americans, that if Mr. Webster did
his duty in the approaching negotiations, and sent the English Lord
home again in double quick time, they should, within two years,
sing 'Yankee Doodle in Hyde Park, and Hail Columbia in the scarlet
courts of Westminster!' I found it a pretty town, and had the
satisfaction of beholding the outside of the office of the journal
from which I have just quoted. I did not enjoy the delight of
seeing the wit who indited the paragraph in question, but I have no
doubt he is a prodigious man in his way, and held in high repute by
a select circle.

There was a gentleman on board, to whom, as I unintentionally
learned through the thin partition which divided our state-room
from the cabin in which he and his wife conversed together, I was
unwittingly the occasion of very great uneasiness. I don't know
why or wherefore, but I appeared to run in his mind perpetually,
and to dissatisfy him very much. First of all I heard him say:
and the most ludicrous part of the business was, that he said it in
my very ear, and could not have communicated more directly with me,
if he had leaned upon my shoulder, and whispered me: 'Boz is on
board still, my dear.' After a considerable pause, he added,
complainingly, 'Boz keeps himself very close;' which was true
enough, for I was not very well, and was lying down, with a book.
I thought he had done with me after this, but I was deceived; for a
long interval having elapsed, during which I imagine him to have
been turning restlessly from side to side, and trying to go to
sleep; he broke out again, with 'I suppose THAT Boz will be writing
a book by-and-by, and putting all our names in it!' at which
imaginary consequence of being on board a boat with Boz, he
groaned, and became silent.

We called at the town of Erie, at eight o'clock that night, and lay
there an hour. Between five and six next morning, we arrived at
Buffalo, where we breakfasted; and being too near the Great Falls
to wait patiently anywhere else, we set off by the train, the same
morning at nine o'clock, to Niagara.

It was a miserable day; chilly and raw; a damp mist falling; and
the trees in that northern region quite bare and wintry. Whenever
the train halted, I listened for the roar; and was constantly
straining my eyes in the direction where I knew the Falls must be,
from seeing the river rolling on towards them; every moment
expecting to behold the spray. Within a few minutes of our
stopping, not before, I saw two great white clouds rising up slowly
and majestically from the depths of the earth. That was all. At
length we alighted: and then for the first time, I heard the
mighty rush of water, and felt the ground tremble underneath my

The bank is very steep, and was slippery with rain, and half-melted
ice. I hardly know how I got down, but I was soon at the bottom,
and climbing, with two English officers who were crossing and had
joined me, over some broken rocks, deafened by the noise, half-
blinded by the spray, and wet to the skin. We were at the foot of
the American Fall. I could see an immense torrent of water tearing
headlong down from some great height, but had no idea of shape, or
situation, or anything but vague immensity.

When we were seated in the little ferry-boat, and were crossing the
swollen river immediately before both cataracts, I began to feel
what it was: but I was in a manner stunned, and unable to
comprehend the vastness of the scene. It was not until I came on
Table Rock, and looked - Great Heaven, on what a fall of bright-
green water! - that it came upon me in its full might and majesty.

Then, when I felt how near to my Creator I was standing, the first
effect, and the enduring one - instant and lasting - of the
tremendous spectacle, was Peace. Peace of Mind, tranquillity, calm
recollections of the Dead, great thoughts of Eternal Rest and
Happiness: nothing of gloom or terror. Niagara was at once
stamped upon my heart, an Image of Beauty; to remain there,
changeless and indelible, until its pulses cease to beat, for ever.

Oh, how the strife and trouble of daily life receded from my view,
and lessened in the distance, during the ten memorable days we
passed on that Enchanted Ground! What voices spoke from out the
thundering water; what faces, faded from the earth, looked out upon
me from its gleaming depths; what Heavenly promise glistened in
those angels' tears, the drops of many hues, that showered around,
and twined themselves about the gorgeous arches which the changing
rainbows made!

I never stirred in all that time from the Canadian side, whither I
had gone at first. I never crossed the river again; for I knew
there were people on the other shore, and in such a place it is
natural to shun strange company. To wander to and fro all day, and
see the cataracts from all points of view; to stand upon the edge
of the great Horse-Shoe Fall, marking the hurried water gathering
strength as it approached the verge, yet seeming, too, to pause
before it shot into the gulf below; to gaze from the river's level
up at the torrent as it came streaming down; to climb the
neighbouring heights and watch it through the trees, and see the
wreathing water in the rapids hurrying on to take its fearful
plunge; to linger in the shadow of the solemn rocks three miles
below; watching the river as, stirred by no visible cause, it
heaved and eddied and awoke the echoes, being troubled yet, far
down beneath the surface, by its giant leap; to have Niagara before
me, lighted by the sun and by the moon, red in the day's decline,
and grey as evening slowly fell upon it; to look upon it every day,
and wake up in the night and hear its ceaseless voice: this was

I think in every quiet season now, still do those waters roll and
leap, and roar and tumble, all day long; still are the rainbows
spanning them, a hundred feet below. Still, when the sun is on
them, do they shine and glow like molten gold. Still, when the day
is gloomy, do they fall like snow, or seem to crumble away like the
front of a great chalk cliff, or roll down the rock like dense
white smoke. But always does the mighty stream appear to die as it
comes down, and always from its unfathomable grave arises that
tremendous ghost of spray and mist which is never laid: which has
haunted this place with the same dread solemnity since Darkness
brooded on the deep, and that first flood before the Deluge - Light
- came rushing on Creation at the word of God.


I wish to abstain from instituting any comparison, or drawing any
parallel whatever, between the social features of the United States
and those of the British Possessions in Canada. For this reason, I
shall confine myself to a very brief account of our journeyings in
the latter territory.

But before I leave Niagara, I must advert to one disgusting
circumstance which can hardly have escaped the observation of any
decent traveller who has visited the Falls.

On Table Rock, there is a cottage belonging to a Guide, where
little relics of the place are sold, and where visitors register
their names in a book kept for the purpose. On the wall of the
room in which a great many of these volumes are preserved, the
following request is posted: 'Visitors will please not copy nor
extract the remarks and poetical effusions from the registers and
albums kept here.'

But for this intimation, I should have let them lie upon the tables
on which they were strewn with careful negligence, like books in a
drawing-room: being quite satisfied with the stupendous silliness
of certain stanzas with an anti-climax at the end of each, which
were framed and hung up on the wall. Curious, however, after
reading this announcement, to see what kind of morsels were so
carefully preserved, I turned a few leaves, and found them scrawled
all over with the vilest and the filthiest ribaldry that ever human
hogs delighted in.

It is humiliating enough to know that there are among men brutes so
obscene and worthless, that they can delight in laying their
miserable profanations upon the very steps of Nature's greatest
altar. But that these should be hoarded up for the delight of
their fellow-swine, and kept in a public place where any eyes may
see them, is a disgrace to the English language in which they are
written (though I hope few of these entries have been made by
Englishmen), and a reproach to the English side, on which they are

The quarters of our soldiers at Niagara, are finely and airily
situated. Some of them are large detached houses on the plain
above the Falls, which were originally designed for hotels; and in
the evening time, when the women and children were leaning over the
balconies watching the men as they played at ball and other games
upon the grass before the door, they often presented a little
picture of cheerfulness and animation which made it quite a
pleasure to pass that way.

At any garrisoned point where the line of demarcation between one
country and another is so very narrow as at Niagara, desertion from
the ranks can scarcely fail to be of frequent occurrence: and it
may be reasonably supposed that when the soldiers entertain the
wildest and maddest hopes of the fortune and independence that
await them on the other side, the impulse to play traitor, which
such a place suggests to dishonest minds, is not weakened. But it
very rarely happens that the men who do desert, are happy or
contented afterwards; and many instances have been known in which
they have confessed their grievous disappointment, and their
earnest desire to return to their old service if they could but be
assured of pardon, or lenient treatment. Many of their comrades,
notwithstanding, do the like, from time to time; and instances of
loss of life in the effort to cross the river with this object, are
far from being uncommon. Several men were drowned in the attempt
to swim across, not long ago; and one, who had the madness to trust
himself upon a table as a raft, was swept down to the whirlpool,
where his mangled body eddied round and round some days.

I am inclined to think that the noise of the Falls is very much
exaggerated; and this will appear the more probable when the depth
of the great basin in which the water is received, is taken into
account. At no time during our stay there, was the wind at all
high or boisterous, but we never heard them, three miles off, even
at the very quiet time of sunset, though we often tried.

Queenston, at which place the steamboats start for Toronto (or I
should rather say at which place they call, for their wharf is at
Lewiston, on the opposite shore), is situated in a delicious
valley, through which the Niagara river, in colour a very deep
green, pursues its course. It is approached by a road that takes
its winding way among the heights by which the town is sheltered;
and seen from this point is extremely beautiful and picturesque.
On the most conspicuous of these heights stood a monument erected
by the Provincial Legislature in memory of General Brock, who was
slain in a battle with the American forces, after having won the
victory. Some vagabond, supposed to be a fellow of the name of
Lett, who is now, or who lately was, in prison as a felon, blew up
this monument two years ago, and it is now a melancholy ruin, with
a long fragment of iron railing hanging dejectedly from its top,
and waving to and fro like a wild ivy branch or broken vine stem.
It is of much higher importance than it may seem, that this statue
should be repaired at the public cost, as it ought to have been
long ago. Firstly, because it is beneath the dignity of England to
allow a memorial raised in honour of one of her defenders, to
remain in this condition, on the very spot where he died.
Secondly, because the sight of it in its present state, and the
recollection of the unpunished outrage which brought it to this
pass, is not very likely to soothe down border feelings among
English subjects here, or compose their border quarrels and

I was standing on the wharf at this place, watching the passengers
embarking in a steamboat which preceded that whose coming we
awaited, and participating in the anxiety with which a sergeant's
wife was collecting her few goods together - keeping one distracted
eye hard upon the porters, who were hurrying them on board, and the
other on a hoopless washing-tub for which, as being the most
utterly worthless of all her movables, she seemed to entertain
particular affection - when three or four soldiers with a recruit
came up and went on board.

The recruit was a likely young fellow enough, strongly built and
well made, but by no means sober: indeed he had all the air of a
man who had been more or less drunk for some days. He carried a
small bundle over his shoulder, slung at the end of a walking-
stick, and had a short pipe in his mouth. He was as dusty and
dirty as recruits usually are, and his shoes betokened that he had
travelled on foot some distance, but he was in a very jocose state,
and shook hands with this soldier, and clapped that one on the
back, and talked and laughed continually, like a roaring idle dog
as he was.

The soldiers rather laughed at this blade than with him: seeming
to say, as they stood straightening their canes in their hands, and
looking coolly at him over their glazed stocks, 'Go on, my boy,
while you may! you'll know better by-and-by:' when suddenly the
novice, who had been backing towards the gangway in his noisy
merriment, fell overboard before their eyes, and splashed heavily
down into the river between the vessel and the dock.

I never saw such a good thing as the change that came over these
soldiers in an instant. Almost before the man was down, their
professional manner, their stiffness and constraint, were gone, and
they were filled with the most violent energy. In less time than
is required to tell it, they had him out again, feet first, with
the tails of his coat flapping over his eyes, everything about him
hanging the wrong way, and the water streaming off at every thread
in his threadbare dress. But the moment they set him upright and
found that he was none the worse, they were soldiers again, looking
over their glazed stocks more composedly than ever.

The half-sobered recruit glanced round for a moment, as if his
first impulse were to express some gratitude for his preservation,
but seeing them with this air of total unconcern, and having his
wet pipe presented to him with an oath by the soldier who had been
by far the most anxious of the party, he stuck it in his mouth,
thrust his hands into his moist pockets, and without even shaking
the water off his clothes, walked on board whistling; not to say as
if nothing had happened, but as if he had meant to do it, and it
had been a perfect success.

Our steamboat came up directly this had left the wharf, and soon
bore us to the mouth of the Niagara; where the stars and stripes of
America flutter on one side and the Union Jack of England on the
other: and so narrow is the space between them that the sentinels
in either fort can often hear the watchword of the other country
given. Thence we emerged on Lake Ontario, an inland sea; and by
half-past six o'clock were at Toronto.

The country round this town being very flat, is bare of scenic
interest; but the town itself is full of life and motion, bustle,
business, and improvement. The streets are well paved, and lighted
with gas; the houses are large and good; the shops excellent. Many
of them have a display of goods in their windows, such as may be
seen in thriving county towns in England; and there are some which
would do no discredit to the metropolis itself. There is a good
stone prison here; and there are, besides, a handsome church, a
court-house, public offices, many commodious private residences,
and a government observatory for noting and recording the magnetic
variations. In the College of Upper Canada, which is one of the
public establishments of the city, a sound education in every
department of polite learning can be had, at a very moderate
expense: the annual charge for the instruction of each pupil, not
exceeding nine pounds sterling. It has pretty good endowments in
the way of land, and is a valuable and useful institution.

The first stone of a new college had been laid but a few days
before, by the Governor General. It will be a handsome, spacious
edifice, approached by a long avenue, which is already planted and
made available as a public walk. The town is well adapted for
wholesome exercise at all seasons, for the footways in the
thoroughfares which lie beyond the principal street, are planked
like floors, and kept in very good and clean repair.

It is a matter of deep regret that political differences should
have run high in this place, and led to most discreditable and
disgraceful results. It is not long since guns were discharged
from a window in this town at the successful candidates in an
election, and the coachman of one of them was actually shot in the
body, though not dangerously wounded. But one man was killed on
the same occasion; and from the very window whence he received his
death, the very flag which shielded his murderer (not only in the
commission of his crime, but from its consequences), was displayed
again on the occasion of the public ceremony performed by the
Governor General, to which I have just adverted. Of all the
colours in the rainbow, there is but one which could be so
employed: I need not say that flag was orange.

The time of leaving Toronto for Kingston is noon. By eight o'clock
next morning, the traveller is at the end of his journey, which is
performed by steamboat upon Lake Ontario, calling at Port Hope and
Coburg, the latter a cheerful, thriving little town. Vast
quantities of flour form the chief item in the freight of these
vessels. We had no fewer than one thousand and eighty barrels on
board, between Coburg and Kingston.

The latter place, which is now the seat of government in Canada, is
a very poor town, rendered still poorer in the appearance of its
market-place by the ravages of a recent fire. Indeed, it may be
said of Kingston, that one half of it appears to be burnt down, and
the other half not to be built up. The Government House is neither
elegant nor commodious, yet it is almost the only house of any
importance in the neighbourhood.

There is an admirable jail here, well and wisely governed, and
excellently regulated, in every respect. The men were employed as
shoemakers, ropemakers, blacksmiths, tailors, carpenters, and
stonecutters; and in building a new prison, which was pretty far
advanced towards completion. The female prisoners were occupied in
needlework. Among them was a beautiful girl of twenty, who had
been there nearly three years. She acted as bearer of secret
despatches for the self-styled Patriots on Navy Island, during the
Canadian Insurrection: sometimes dressing as a girl, and carrying
them in her stays; sometimes attiring herself as a boy, and
secreting them in the lining of her hat. In the latter character
she always rode as a boy would, which was nothing to her, for she
could govern any horse that any man could ride, and could drive
four-in-hand with the best whip in those parts. Setting forth on
one of her patriotic missions, she appropriated to herself the
first horse she could lay her hands on; and this offence had
brought her where I saw her. She had quite a lovely face, though,
as the reader may suppose from this sketch of her history, there
was a lurking devil in her bright eye, which looked out pretty
sharply from between her prison bars.

There is a bomb-proof fort here of great strength, which occupies a
bold position, and is capable, doubtless, of doing good service;
though the town is much too close upon the frontier to be long
held, I should imagine, for its present purpose in troubled times.
There is also a small navy-yard, where a couple of Government
steamboats were building, and getting on vigorously.

We left Kingston for Montreal on the tenth of May, at half-past
nine in the morning, and proceeded in a steamboat down the St.
Lawrence river. The beauty of this noble stream at almost any
point, but especially in the commencement of this journey when it
winds its way among the thousand Islands, can hardly be imagined.
The number and constant successions of these islands, all green and
richly wooded; their fluctuating sizes, some so large that for half
an hour together one among them will appear as the opposite bank of
the river, and some so small that they are mere dimples on its
broad bosom; their infinite variety of shapes; and the numberless
combinations of beautiful forms which the trees growing on them
present: all form a picture fraught with uncommon interest and

In the afternoon we shot down some rapids where the river boiled
and bubbled strangely, and where the force and headlong violence of
the current were tremendous. At seven o'clock we reached
Dickenson's Landing, whence travellers proceed for two or three
hours by stage-coach: the navigation of the river being rendered
so dangerous and difficult in the interval, by rapids, that
steamboats do not make the passage. The number and length of those
PORTAGES, over which the roads are bad, and the travelling slow,
render the way between the towns of Montreal and Kingston, somewhat

Our course lay over a wide, uninclosed tract of country at a little
distance from the river-side, whence the bright warning lights on
the dangerous parts of the St. Lawrence shone vividly. The night
was dark and raw, and the way dreary enough. It was nearly ten
o'clock when we reached the wharf where the next steamboat lay; and
went on board, and to bed.

She lay there all night, and started as soon as it was day. The
morning was ushered in by a violent thunderstorm, and was very wet,
but gradually improved and brightened up. Going on deck after
breakfast, I was amazed to see floating down with the stream, a
most gigantic raft, with some thirty or forty wooden houses upon
it, and at least as many flag-masts, so that it looked like a
nautical street. I saw many of these rafts afterwards, but never
one so large. All the timber, or 'lumber,' as it is called in
America, which is brought down the St. Lawrence, is floated down in
this manner. When the raft reaches its place of destination, it is
broken up; the materials are sold; and the boatmen return for more.

At eight we landed again, and travelled by a stage-coach for four
hours through a pleasant and well-cultivated country, perfectly
French in every respect: in the appearance of the cottages; the
air, language, and dress of the peasantry; the sign-boards on the
shops and taverns: and the Virgin's shrines, and crosses, by the
wayside. Nearly every common labourer and boy, though he had no
shoes to his feet, wore round his waist a sash of some bright
colour: generally red: and the women, who were working in the
fields and gardens, and doing all kinds of husbandry, wore, one and
all, great flat straw hats with most capacious brims. There were
Catholic Priests and Sisters of Charity in the village streets; and
images of the Saviour at the corners of cross-roads, and in other
public places.

At noon we went on board another steamboat, and reached the village
of Lachine, nine miles from Montreal, by three o'clock. There, we
left the river, and went on by land.

Montreal is pleasantly situated on the margin of the St. Lawrence,
and is backed by some bold heights, about which there are charming
rides and drives. The streets are generally narrow and irregular,
as in most French towns of any age; but in the more modern parts of
the city, they are wide and airy. They display a great variety of
very good shops; and both in the town and suburbs there are many
excellent private dwellings. The granite quays are remarkable for
their beauty, solidity, and extent.

There is a very large Catholic cathedral here, recently erected
with two tall spires, of which one is yet unfinished. In the open
space in front of this edifice, stands a solitary, grim-looking,
square brick tower, which has a quaint and remarkable appearance,
and which the wiseacres of the place have consequently determined
to pull down immediately. The Government House is very superior to
that at Kingston, and the town is full of life and bustle. In one
of the suburbs is a plank road - not footpath - five or six miles
long, and a famous road it is too. All the rides in the vicinity
were made doubly interesting by the bursting out of spring, which
is here so rapid, that it is but a day's leap from barren winter,
to the blooming youth of summer.

The steamboats to Quebec perform the journey in the night; that is
to say, they leave Montreal at six in the evening, and arrive at
Quebec at six next morning. We made this excursion during our stay
in Montreal (which exceeded a fortnight), and were charmed by its
interest and beauty.

The impression made upon the visitor by this Gibraltar of America:
its giddy heights; its citadel suspended, as it were, in the air;
its picturesque steep streets and frowning gateways; and the
splendid views which burst upon the eye at every turn: is at once
unique and lasting.

It is a place not to be forgotten or mixed up in the mind with
other places, or altered for a moment in the crowd of scenes a
traveller can recall. Apart from the realities of this most
picturesque city, there are associations clustering about it which
would make a desert rich in interest. The dangerous precipice
along whose rocky front, Wolfe and his brave companions climbed to
glory; the Plains of Abraham, where he received his mortal wound;
the fortress so chivalrously defended by Montcalm; and his
soldier's grave, dug for him while yet alive, by the bursting of a
shell; are not the least among them, or among the gallant incidents
of history. That is a noble Monument too, and worthy of two great
nations, which perpetuates the memory of both brave generals, and
on which their names are jointly written.

The city is rich in public institutions and in Catholic churches
and charities, but it is mainly in the prospect from the site of
the Old Government House, and from the Citadel, that its surpassing
beauty lies. The exquisite expanse of country, rich in field and
forest, mountain-height and water, which lies stretched out before
the view, with miles of Canadian villages, glancing in long white
streaks, like veins along the landscape; the motley crowd of
gables, roofs, and chimney tops in the old hilly town immediately
at hand; the beautiful St. Lawrence sparkling and flashing in the
sunlight; and the tiny ships below the rock from which you gaze,
whose distant rigging looks like spiders' webs against the light,
while casks and barrels on their decks dwindle into toys, and busy
mariners become so many puppets; all this, framed by a sunken
window in the fortress and looked at from the shadowed room within,
forms one of the brightest and most enchanting pictures that the
eye can rest upon.

In the spring of the year, vast numbers of emigrants who have newly
arrived from England or from Ireland, pass between Quebec and
Montreal on their way to the backwoods and new settlements of
Canada. If it be an entertaining lounge (as I very often found it)
to take a morning stroll upon the quay at Montreal, and see them
grouped in hundreds on the public wharfs about their chests and
boxes, it is matter of deep interest to be their fellow-passenger
on one of these steamboats, and mingling with the concourse, see
and hear them unobserved.

The vessel in which we returned from Quebec to Montreal was crowded
with them, and at night they spread their beds between decks (those
who had beds, at least), and slept so close and thick about our
cabin door, that the passage to and fro was quite blocked up. They
were nearly all English; from Gloucestershire the greater part; and
had had a long winter-passage out; but it was wonderful to see how
clean the children had been kept, and how untiring in their love
and self-denial all the poor parents were.

Cant as we may, and as we shall to the end of all things, it is
very much harder for the poor to be virtuous than it is for the
rich; and the good that is in them, shines the brighter for it. In
many a noble mansion lives a man, the best of husbands and of
fathers, whose private worth in both capacities is justly lauded to
the skies. But bring him here, upon this crowded deck. Strip from
his fair young wife her silken dress and jewels, unbind her braided
hair, stamp early wrinkles on her brow, pinch her pale cheek with
care and much privation, array her faded form in coarsely patched
attire, let there be nothing but his love to set her forth or deck
her out, and you shall put it to the proof indeed. So change his
station in the world, that he shall see in those young things who
climb about his knee: not records of his wealth and name: but
little wrestlers with him for his daily bread; so many poachers on
his scanty meal; so many units to divide his every sum of comfort,
and farther to reduce its small amount. In lieu of the endearments
of childhood in its sweetest aspect, heap upon him all its pains
and wants, its sicknesses and ills, its fretfulness, caprice, and
querulous endurance: let its prattle be, not of engaging infant
fancies, but of cold, and thirst, and hunger: and if his fatherly
affection outlive all this, and he be patient, watchful, tender;
careful of his children's lives, and mindful always of their joys
and sorrows; then send him back to Parliament, and Pulpit, and to
Quarter Sessions, and when he hears fine talk of the depravity of
those who live from hand to mouth, and labour hard to do it, let
him speak up, as one who knows, and tell those holders forth that
they, by parallel with such a class, should be High Angels in their
daily lives, and lay but humble siege to Heaven at last.

Which of us shall say what he would be, if such realities, with
small relief or change all through his days, were his! Looking
round upon these people: far from home, houseless, indigent,
wandering, weary with travel and hard living: and seeing how
patiently they nursed and tended their young children: how they
consulted ever their wants first, then half supplied their own;
what gentle ministers of hope and faith the women were; how the men
profited by their example; and how very, very seldom even a
moment's petulance or harsh complaint broke out among them: I felt
a stronger love and honour of my kind come glowing on my heart, and
wished to God there had been many Atheists in the better part of
human nature there, to read this simple lesson in the book of Life.

* * * * * *

We left Montreal for New York again, on the thirtieth of May,
crossing to La Prairie, on the opposite shore of the St. Lawrence,
in a steamboat; we then took the railroad to St. John's, which is
on the brink of Lake Champlain. Our last greeting in Canada was
from the English officers in the pleasant barracks at that place (a
class of gentlemen who had made every hour of our visit memorable
by their hospitality and friendship); and with 'Rule Britannia'
sounding in our ears, soon left it far behind.

But Canada has held, and always will retain, a foremost place in my
remembrance. Few Englishmen are prepared to find it what it is.
Advancing quietly; old differences settling down, and being fast
forgotten; public feeling and private enterprise alike in a sound
and wholesome state; nothing of flush or fever in its system, but
health and vigour throbbing in its steady pulse: it is full of
hope and promise. To me - who had been accustomed to think of it
as something left behind in the strides of advancing society, as
something neglected and forgotten, slumbering and wasting in its
sleep - the demand for labour and the rates of wages; the busy
quays of Montreal; the vessels taking in their cargoes, and
discharging them; the amount of shipping in the different ports;
the commerce, roads, and public works, all made TO LAST; the
respectability and character of the public journals; and the amount
of rational comfort and happiness which honest industry may earn:
were very great surprises. The steamboats on the lakes, in their
conveniences, cleanliness, and safety; in the gentlemanly character
and bearing of their captains; and in the politeness and perfect
comfort of their social regulations; are unsurpassed even by the
famous Scotch vessels, deservedly so much esteemed at home. The
inns are usually bad; because the custom of boarding at hotels is
not so general here as in the States, and the British officers, who
form a large portion of the society of every town, live chiefly at
the regimental messes: but in every other respect, the traveller
in Canada will find as good provision for his comfort as in any
place I know.

There is one American boat - the vessel which carried us on Lake
Champlain, from St. John's to Whitehall - which I praise very
highly, but no more than it deserves, when I say that it is
superior even to that in which we went from Queenston to Toronto,
or to that in which we travelled from the latter place to Kingston,
or I have no doubt I may add to any other in the world. This
steamboat, which is called the Burlington, is a perfectly exquisite
achievement of neatness, elegance, and order. The decks are
drawing-rooms; the cabins are boudoirs, choicely furnished and
adorned with prints, pictures, and musical instruments; every nook
and corner in the vessel is a perfect curiosity of graceful comfort
and beautiful contrivance. Captain Sherman, her commander, to
whose ingenuity and excellent taste these results are solely
attributable, has bravely and worthily distinguished himself on
more than one trying occasion: not least among them, in having the
moral courage to carry British troops, at a time (during the
Canadian rebellion) when no other conveyance was open to them. He
and his vessel are held in universal respect, both by his own
countrymen and ours; and no man ever enjoyed the popular esteem,
who, in his sphere of action, won and wore it better than this

By means of this floating palace we were soon in the United States
again, and called that evening at Burlington; a pretty town, where
we lay an hour or so. We reached Whitehall, where we were to
disembark, at six next morning; and might have done so earlier, but
that these steamboats lie by for some hours in the night, in
consequence of the lake becoming very narrow at that part of the
journey, and difficult of navigation in the dark. Its width is so
contracted at one point, indeed, that they are obliged to warp
round by means of a rope.

After breakfasting at Whitehall, we took the stage-coach for
Albany: a large and busy town, where we arrived between five and
six o'clock that afternoon; after a very hot day's journey, for we
were now in the height of summer again. At seven we started for
New York on board a great North River steamboat, which was so
crowded with passengers that the upper deck was like the box lobby
of a theatre between the pieces, and the lower one like Tottenham
Court Road on a Saturday night. But we slept soundly,
notwithstanding, and soon after five o'clock next morning reached
New York.

Tarrying here, only that day and night, to recruit after our late
fatigues, we started off once more upon our last journey in
America. We had yet five days to spare before embarking for
England, and I had a great desire to see 'the Shaker Village,'
which is peopled by a religious sect from whom it takes its name.

To this end, we went up the North River again, as far as the town
of Hudson, and there hired an extra to carry us to Lebanon, thirty
miles distant: and of course another and a different Lebanon from
that village where I slept on the night of the Prairie trip.

The country through which the road meandered, was rich and
beautiful; the weather very fine; and for many miles the Kaatskill
mountains, where Rip Van Winkle and the ghostly Dutchmen played at
ninepins one memorable gusty afternoon, towered in the blue
distance, like stately clouds. At one point, as we ascended a
steep hill, athwart whose base a railroad, yet constructing, took
its course, we came upon an Irish colony. With means at hand of
building decent cabins, it was wonderful to see how clumsy, rough,
and wretched, its hovels were. The best were poor protection from
the weather the worst let in the wind and rain through wide
breaches in the roofs of sodden grass, and in the walls of mud;
some had neither door nor window; some had nearly fallen down, and
were imperfectly propped up by stakes and poles; all were ruinous
and filthy. Hideously ugly old women and very buxom young ones,
pigs, dogs, men, children, babies, pots, kettles, dung-hills, vile
refuse, rank straw, and standing water, all wallowing together in
an inseparable heap, composed the furniture of every dark and dirty

Between nine and ten o'clock at night, we arrived at Lebanon which
is renowned for its warm baths, and for a great hotel, well
adapted, I have no doubt, to the gregarious taste of those seekers
after health or pleasure who repair here, but inexpressibly
comfortless to me. We were shown into an immense apartment,
lighted by two dim candles, called the drawing-room: from which
there was a descent by a flight of steps, to another vast desert,
called the dining-room: our bed-chambers were among certain long
rows of little white-washed cells, which opened from either side of
a dreary passage; and were so like rooms in a prison that I half
expected to be locked up when I went to bed, and listened
involuntarily for the turning of the key on the outside. There
need be baths somewhere in the neighbourhood, for the other washing
arrangements were on as limited a scale as I ever saw, even in
America: indeed, these bedrooms were so very bare of even such
common luxuries as chairs, that I should say they were not provided
with enough of anything, but that I bethink myself of our having
been most bountifully bitten all night.

The house is very pleasantly situated, however, and we had a good
breakfast. That done, we went to visit our place of destination,
which was some two miles off, and the way to which was soon
indicated by a finger-post, whereon was painted, 'To the Shaker

As we rode along, we passed a party of Shakers, who were at work
upon the road; who wore the broadest of all broad-brimmed hats; and
were in all visible respects such very wooden men, that I felt
about as much sympathy for them, and as much interest in them, as
if they had been so many figure-heads of ships. Presently we came
to the beginning of the village, and alighting at the door of a
house where the Shaker manufactures are sold, and which is the
headquarters of the elders, requested permission to see the Shaker

Pending the conveyance of this request to some person in authority,
we walked into a grim room, where several grim hats were hanging on
grim pegs, and the time was grimly told by a grim clock which
uttered every tick with a kind of struggle, as if it broke the grim
silence reluctantly, and under protest. Ranged against the wall
were six or eight stiff, high-backed chairs, and they partook so
strongly of the general grimness that one would much rather have
sat on the floor than incurred the smallest obligation to any of

Presently, there stalked into this apartment, a grim old Shaker,
with eyes as hard, and dull, and cold, as the great round metal
buttons on his coat and waistcoat; a sort of calm goblin. Being
informed of our desire, he produced a newspaper wherein the body of
elders, whereof he was a member, had advertised but a few days
before, that in consequence of certain unseemly interruptions which
their worship had received from strangers, their chapel was closed
to the public for the space of one year.

As nothing was to be urged in opposition to this reasonable
arrangement, we requested leave to make some trifling purchases of
Shaker goods; which was grimly conceded. We accordingly repaired
to a store in the same house and on the opposite side of the
passage, where the stock was presided over by something alive in a
russet case, which the elder said was a woman; and which I suppose
WAS a woman, though I should not have suspected it.

On the opposite side of the road was their place of worship: a
cool, clean edifice of wood, with large windows and green blinds:
like a spacious summer-house. As there was no getting into this
place, and nothing was to be done but walk up and down, and look at
it and the other buildings in the village (which were chiefly of
wood, painted a dark red like English barns, and composed of many
stories like English factories), I have nothing to communicate to
the reader, beyond the scanty results I gleaned the while our
purchases were making,

These people are called Shakers from their peculiar form of
adoration, which consists of a dance, performed by the men and
women of all ages, who arrange themselves for that purpose in
opposite parties: the men first divesting themselves of their hats
and coats, which they gravely hang against the wall before they
begin; and tying a ribbon round their shirt-sleeves, as though they
were going to be bled. They accompany themselves with a droning,
humming noise, and dance until they are quite exhausted,
alternately advancing and retiring in a preposterous sort of trot.
The effect is said to be unspeakably absurd: and if I may judge
from a print of this ceremony which I have in my possession; and
which I am informed by those who have visited the chapel, is
perfectly accurate; it must be infinitely grotesque.

They are governed by a woman, and her rule is understood to be
absolute, though she has the assistance of a council of elders.
She lives, it is said, in strict seclusion, in certain rooms above
the chapel, and is never shown to profane eyes. If she at all
resemble the lady who presided over the store, it is a great
charity to keep her as close as possible, and I cannot too strongly
express my perfect concurrence in this benevolent proceeding.

All the possessions and revenues of the settlement are thrown into
a common stock, which is managed by the elders. As they have made
converts among people who were well to do in the world, and are
frugal and thrifty, it is understood that this fund prospers: the
more especially as they have made large purchases of land. Nor is
this at Lebanon the only Shaker settlement: there are, I think, at
least, three others.

They are good farmers, and all their produce is eagerly purchased
and highly esteemed. 'Shaker seeds,' 'Shaker herbs,' and 'Shaker
distilled waters,' are commonly announced for sale in the shops of
towns and cities. They are good breeders of cattle, and are kind
and merciful to the brute creation. Consequently, Shaker beasts
seldom fail to find a ready market.

They eat and drink together, after the Spartan model, at a great
public table. There is no union of the sexes, and every Shaker,
male and female, is devoted to a life of celibacy. Rumour has been
busy upon this theme, but here again I must refer to the lady of
the store, and say, that if many of the sister Shakers resemble
her, I treat all such slander as bearing on its face the strongest
marks of wild improbability. But that they take as proselytes,
persons so young that they cannot know their own minds, and cannot
possess much strength of resolution in this or any other respect, I
can assert from my own observation of the extreme juvenility of
certain youthful Shakers whom I saw at work among the party on the

They are said to be good drivers of bargains, but to be honest and
just in their transactions, and even in horse-dealing to resist
those thievish tendencies which would seem, for some undiscovered
reason, to be almost inseparable from that branch of traffic. In
all matters they hold their own course quietly, live in their
gloomy, silent commonwealth, and show little desire to interfere
with other people.

This is well enough, but nevertheless I cannot, I confess, incline
towards the Shakers; view them with much favour, or extend towards
them any very lenient construction. I so abhor, and from my soul
detest that bad spirit, no matter by what class or sect it may be
entertained, which would strip life of its healthful graces, rob
youth of its innocent pleasures, pluck from maturity and age their
pleasant ornaments, and make existence but a narrow path towards
the grave: that odious spirit which, if it could have had full
scope and sway upon the earth, must have blasted and made barren
the imaginations of the greatest men, and left them, in their power
of raising up enduring images before their fellow-creatures yet
unborn, no better than the beasts: that, in these very broad-
brimmed hats and very sombre coats - in stiff-necked, solemn-
visaged piety, in short, no matter what its garb, whether it have
cropped hair as in a Shaker village, or long nails as in a Hindoo
temple - I recognise the worst among the enemies of Heaven and
Earth, who turn the water at the marriage feasts of this poor
world, not into wine, but gall. And if there must be people vowed
to crush the harmless fancies and the love of innocent delights and
gaieties, which are a part of human nature: as much a part of it
as any other love or hope that is our common portion: let them,
for me, stand openly revealed among the ribald and licentious; the
very idiots know that THEY are not on the Immortal road, and will
despise them, and avoid them readily.

Leaving the Shaker village with a hearty dislike of the old
Shakers, and a hearty pity for the young ones: tempered by the
strong probability of their running away as they grow older and
wiser, which they not uncommonly do: we returned to Lebanon, and
so to Hudson, by the way we had come upon the previous day. There,
we took the steamboat down the North River towards New York, but
stopped, some four hours' journey short of it, at West Point, where
we remained that night, and all next day, and next night too.

In this beautiful place: the fairest among the fair and lovely
Highlands of the North River: shut in by deep green heights and
ruined forts, and looking down upon the distant town of Newburgh,
along a glittering path of sunlit water, with here and there a
skiff, whose white sail often bends on some new tack as sudden
flaws of wind come down upon her from the gullies in the hills:
hemmed in, besides, all round with memories of Washington, and
events of the revolutionary war: is the Military School of

It could not stand on more appropriate ground, and any ground more
beautiful can hardly be. The course of education is severe, but
well devised, and manly. Through June, July, and August, the young
men encamp upon the spacious plain whereon the college stands; and
all the year their military exercises are performed there, daily.
The term of study at this institution, which the State requires
from all cadets, is four years; but, whether it be from the rigid
nature of the discipline, or the national impatience of restraint,
or both causes combined, not more than half the number who begin
their studies here, ever remain to finish them.

The number of cadets being about equal to that of the members of
Congress, one is sent here from every Congressional district: its
member influencing the selection. Commissions in the service are
distributed on the same principle. The dwellings of the various
Professors are beautifully situated; and there is a most excellent
hotel for strangers, though it has the two drawbacks of being a
total abstinence house (wines and spirits being forbidden to the
students), and of serving the public meals at rather uncomfortable
hours: to wit, breakfast at seven, dinner at one, and supper at

The beauty and freshness of this calm retreat, in the very dawn and
greenness of summer - it was then the beginning of June - were
exquisite indeed. Leaving it upon the sixth, and returning to New
York, to embark for England on the succeeding day, I was glad to
think that among the last memorable beauties which had glided past
us, and softened in the bright perspective, were those whose
pictures, traced by no common hand, are fresh in most men's minds;
not easily to grow old, or fade beneath the dust of Time: the
Kaatskill Mountains, Sleepy Hollow, and the Tappaan Zee.


I NEVER had so much interest before, and very likely I shall never
have so much interest again, in the state of the wind, as on the
long-looked-for morning of Tuesday the Seventh of June. Some
nautical authority had told me a day or two previous, 'anything
with west in it, will do;' so when I darted out of bed at daylight,
and throwing up the window, was saluted by a lively breeze from the
north-west which had sprung up in the night, it came upon me so
freshly, rustling with so many happy associations, that I conceived
upon the spot a special regard for all airs blowing from that
quarter of the compass, which I shall cherish, I dare say, until my
own wind has breathed its last frail puff, and withdrawn itself for
ever from the mortal calendar.

The pilot had not been slow to take advantage of this favourable
weather, and the ship which yesterday had been in such a crowded
dock that she might have retired from trade for good and all, for
any chance she seemed to have of going to sea, was now full sixteen
miles away. A gallant sight she was, when we, fast gaining on her
in a steamboat, saw her in the distance riding at anchor: her tall
masts pointing up in graceful lines against the sky, and every rope
and spar expressed in delicate and thread-like outline: gallant,
too, when, we being all aboard, the anchor came up to the sturdy
chorus 'Cheerily men, oh cheerily!' and she followed proudly in the
towing steamboat's wake: but bravest and most gallant of all, when
the tow-rope being cast adrift, the canvas fluttered from her
masts, and spreading her white wings she soared away upon her free
and solitary course.

In the after cabin we were only fifteen passengers in all, and the
greater part were from Canada, where some of us had known each
other. The night was rough and squally, so were the next two days,
but they flew by quickly, and we were soon as cheerful and snug a
party, with an honest, manly-hearted captain at our head, as ever
came to the resolution of being mutually agreeable, on land or

We breakfasted at eight, lunched at twelve, dined at three, and
took our tea at half-past seven. We had abundance of amusements,
and dinner was not the least among them: firstly, for its own
sake; secondly, because of its extraordinary length: its duration,
inclusive of all the long pauses between the courses, being seldom
less than two hours and a half; which was a subject of never-
failing entertainment. By way of beguiling the tediousness of
these banquets, a select association was formed at the lower end of
the table, below the mast, to whose distinguished president modesty
forbids me to make any further allusion, which, being a very
hilarious and jovial institution, was (prejudice apart) in high
favour with the rest of the community, and particularly with a
black steward, who lived for three weeks in a broad grin at the
marvellous humour of these incorporated worthies.

Then, we had chess for those who played it, whist, cribbage, books,
backgammon, and shovelboard. In all weathers, fair or foul, calm
or windy, we were every one on deck, walking up and down in pairs,
lying in the boats, leaning over the side, or chatting in a lazy
group together. We had no lack of music, for one played the
accordion, another the violin, and another (who usually began at
six o'clock A.M.) the key-bugle: the combined effect of which
instruments, when they all played different tunes in differents
parts of the ship, at the same time, and within hearing of each
other, as they sometimes did (everybody being intensely satisfied
with his own performance), was sublimely hideous.

When all these means of entertainment failed, a sail would heave in
sight: looming, perhaps, the very spirit of a ship, in the misty
distance, or passing us so close that through our glasses we could
see the people on her decks, and easily make out her name, and
whither she was bound. For hours together we could watch the
dolphins and porpoises as they rolled and leaped and dived around
the vessel; or those small creatures ever on the wing, the Mother
Carey's chickens, which had borne us company from New York bay, and
for a whole fortnight fluttered about the vessel's stern. For some
days we had a dead calm, or very light winds, during which the crew
amused themselves with fishing, and hooked an unlucky dolphin, who
expired, in all his rainbow colours, on the deck: an event of such
importance in our barren calendar, that afterwards we dated from
the dolphin, and made the day on which he died, an era.

Besides all this, when we were five or six days out, there began to
be much talk of icebergs, of which wandering islands an unusual
number had been seen by the vessels that had come into New York a
day or two before we left that port, and of whose dangerous
neighbourhood we were warned by the sudden coldness of the weather,
and the sinking of the mercury in the barometer. While these
tokens lasted, a double look-out was kept, and many dismal tales
were whispered after dark, of ships that had struck upon the ice
and gone down in the night; but the wind obliging us to hold a
southward course, we saw none of them, and the weather soon grew
bright and warm again.

The observation every day at noon, and the subsequent working of
the vessel's course, was, as may be supposed, a feature in our
lives of paramount importance; nor were there wanting (as there
never are) sagacious doubters of the captain's calculations, who,
so soon as his back was turned, would, in the absence of compasses,
measure the chart with bits of string, and ends of pocket-
handkerchiefs, and points of snuffers, and clearly prove him to be
wrong by an odd thousand miles or so. It was very edifying to see
these unbelievers shake their heads and frown, and hear them hold
forth strongly upon navigation: not that they knew anything about
it, but that they always mistrusted the captain in calm weather, or
when the wind was adverse. Indeed, the mercury itself is not so
variable as this class of passengers, whom you will see, when the
ship is going nobly through the water, quite pale with admiration,
swearing that the captain beats all captains ever known, and even
hinting at subscriptions for a piece of plate; and who, next
morning, when the breeze has lulled, and all the sails hang useless
in the idle air, shake their despondent heads again, and say, with
screwed-up lips, they hope that captain is a sailor - but they
shrewdly doubt him.

It even became an occupation in the calm, to wonder when the wind
WOULD spring up in the favourable quarter, where, it was clearly
shown by all the rules and precedents, it ought to have sprung up
long ago. The first mate, who whistled for it zealously, was much
respected for his perseverance, and was regarded even by the
unbelievers as a first-rate sailor. Many gloomy looks would be
cast upward through the cabin skylights at the flapping sails while
dinner was in progress; and some, growing bold in ruefulness,
predicted that we should land about the middle of July. There are
always on board ship, a Sanguine One, and a Despondent One. The
latter character carried it hollow at this period of the voyage,
and triumphed over the Sanguine One at every meal, by inquiring
where he supposed the Great Western (which left New York a week
after us) was NOW: and where he supposed the 'Cunard' steam-packet
was NOW: and what he thought of sailing vessels, as compared with
steamships NOW: and so beset his life with pestilent attacks of
that kind, that he too was obliged to affect despondency, for very
peace and quietude.

These were additions to the list of entertaining incidents, but
there was still another source of interest. We carried in the
steerage nearly a hundred passengers: a little world of poverty:
and as we came to know individuals among them by sight, from
looking down upon the deck where they took the air in the daytime,
and cooked their food, and very often ate it too, we became curious
to know their histories, and with what expectations they had gone
out to America, and on what errands they were going home, and what
their circumstances were. The information we got on these heads
from the carpenter, who had charge of these people, was often of
the strangest kind. Some of them had been in America but three
days, some but three months, and some had gone out in the last
voyage of that very ship in which they were now returning home.
Others had sold their clothes to raise the passage-money, and had
hardly rags to cover them; others had no food, and lived upon the
charity of the rest: and one man, it was discovered nearly at the
end of the voyage, not before - for he kept his secret close, and
did not court compassion - had had no sustenance whatever but the
bones and scraps of fat he took from the plates used in the after-
cabin dinner, when they were put out to be washed.

The whole system of shipping and conveying these unfortunate
persons, is one that stands in need of thorough revision. If any
class deserve to be protected and assisted by the Government, it is
that class who are banished from their native land in search of the
bare means of subsistence. All that could be done for these poor
people by the great compassion and humanity of the captain and
officers was done, but they require much more. The law is bound,
at least upon the English side, to see that too many of them are
not put on board one ship: and that their accommodations are
decent: not demoralising, and profligate. It is bound, too, in
common humanity, to declare that no man shall be taken on board
without his stock of provisions being previously inspected by some
proper officer, and pronounced moderately sufficient for his
support upon the voyage. It is bound to provide, or to require
that there be provided, a medical attendant; whereas in these ships
there are none, though sickness of adults, and deaths of children,
on the passage, are matters of the very commonest occurrence.
Above all it is the duty of any Government, be it monarchy or
republic, to interpose and put an end to that system by which a
firm of traders in emigrants purchase of the owners the whole
'tween-decks of a ship, and send on board as many wretched people
as they can lay hold of, on any terms they can get, without the
smallest reference to the conveniences of the steerage, the number
of berths, the slightest separation of the sexes, or anything but
their own immediate profit. Nor is even this the worst of the
vicious system: for, certain crimping agents of these houses, who
have a percentage on all the passengers they inveigle, are
constantly travelling about those districts where poverty and
discontent are rife, and tempting the credulous into more misery,
by holding out monstrous inducements to emigration which can never
be realised.

The history of every family we had on board was pretty much the
same. After hoarding up, and borrowing, and begging, and selling
everything to pay the passage, they had gone out to New York,
expecting to find its streets paved with gold; and had found them
paved with very hard and very real stones. Enterprise was dull;
labourers were not wanted; jobs of work were to be got, but the
payment was not. They were coming back, even poorer than they
went. One of them was carrying an open letter from a young English
artisan, who had been in New York a fortnight, to a friend near
Manchester, whom he strongly urged to follow him. One of the
officers brought it to me as a curiosity. 'This is the country,
Jem,' said the writer. 'I like America. There is no despotism
here; that's the great thing. Employment of all sorts is going a-
begging, and wages are capital. You have only to choose a trade,
Jem, and be it. I haven't made choice of one yet, but I shall

There was yet another kind of passenger, and but one more, who, in
the calm and the light winds, was a constant theme of conversation
and observation among us. This was an English sailor, a smart,
thorough-built, English man-of-war's-man from his hat to his shoes,
who was serving in the American navy, and having got leave of
absence was on his way home to see his friends. When he presented
himself to take and pay for his passage, it had been suggested to
him that being an able seaman he might as well work it and save the
money, but this piece of advice he very indignantly rejected:
saying, 'He'd be damned but for once he'd go aboard ship, as a
gentleman.' Accordingly, they took his money, but he no sooner
came aboard, than he stowed his kit in the forecastle, arranged to
mess with the crew, and the very first time the hands were turned
up, went aloft like a cat, before anybody. And all through the
passage there he was, first at the braces, outermost on the yards,
perpetually lending a hand everywhere, but always with a sober
dignity in his manner, and a sober grin on his face, which plainly
said, 'I do it as a gentleman. For my own pleasure, mind you!'

At length and at last, the promised wind came up in right good
earnest, and away we went before it, with every stitch of canvas
set, slashing through the water nobly. There was a grandeur in the
motion of the splendid ship, as overshadowed by her mass of sails,
she rode at a furious pace upon the waves, which filled one with an
indescribable sense of pride and exultation. As she plunged into a
foaming valley, how I loved to see the green waves, bordered deep
with white, come rushing on astern, to buoy her upward at their
pleasure, and curl about her as she stooped again, but always own
her for their haughty mistress still! On, on we flew, with
changing lights upon the water, being now in the blessed region of
fleecy skies; a bright sun lighting us by day, and a bright moon by
night; the vane pointing directly homeward, alike the truthful
index to the favouring wind and to our cheerful hearts; until at
sunrise, one fair Monday morning - the twenty-seventh of June, I
shall not easily forget the day - there lay before us, old Cape
Clear, God bless it, showing, in the mist of early morning, like a
cloud: the brightest and most welcome cloud, to us, that ever hid
the face of Heaven's fallen sister - Home.

Dim speck as it was in the wide prospect, it made the sunrise a
more cheerful sight, and gave to it that sort of human interest
which it seems to want at sea. There, as elsewhere, the return of
day is inseparable from some sense of renewed hope and gladness;
but the light shining on the dreary waste of water, and showing it
in all its vast extent of loneliness, presents a solemn spectacle,
which even night, veiling it in darkness and uncertainty, does not
surpass. The rising of the moon is more in keeping with the
solitary ocean; and has an air of melancholy grandeur, which in its
soft and gentle influence, seems to comfort while it saddens. I
recollect when I was a very young child having a fancy that the
reflection of the moon in water was a path to Heaven, trodden by
the spirits of good people on their way to God; and this old
feeling often came over me again, when I watched it on a tranquil
night at sea.

The wind was very light on this same Monday morning, but it was
still in the right quarter, and so, by slow degrees, we left Cape
Clear behind, and sailed along within sight of the coast of
Ireland. And how merry we all were, and how loyal to the George
Washington, and how full of mutual congratulations, and how
venturesome in predicting the exact hour at which we should arrive
at Liverpool, may be easily imagined and readily understood. Also,
how heartily we drank the captain's health that day at dinner; and
how restless we became about packing up: and how two or three of
the most sanguine spirits rejected the idea of going to bed at all
that night as something it was not worth while to do, so near the
shore, but went nevertheless, and slept soundly; and how to be so
near our journey's end, was like a pleasant dream, from which one
feared to wake.

The friendly breeze freshened again next day, and on we went once
more before it gallantly: descrying now and then an English ship
going homeward under shortened sail, while we, with every inch of
canvas crowded on, dashed gaily past, and left her far behind.
Towards evening, the weather turned hazy, with a drizzling rain;
and soon became so thick, that we sailed, as it were, in a cloud.
Still we swept onward like a phantom ship, and many an eager eye
glanced up to where the Look-out on the mast kept watch for

At length his long-expected cry was heard, and at the same moment
there shone out from the haze and mist ahead, a gleaming light,
which presently was gone, and soon returned, and soon was gone
again. Whenever it came back, the eyes of all on board, brightened
and sparkled like itself: and there we all stood, watching this
revolving light upon the rock at Holyhead, and praising it for its
brightness and its friendly warning, and lauding it, in short,
above all other signal lights that ever were displayed, until it
once more glimmered faintly in the distance, far behind us.

Then, it was time to fire a gun, for a pilot; and almost before its
smoke had cleared away, a little boat with a light at her masthead
came bearing down upon us, through the darkness, swiftly. And
presently, our sails being backed, she ran alongside; and the
hoarse pilot, wrapped and muffled in pea-coats and shawls to the
very bridge of his weather-ploughed-up nose, stood bodily among us
on the deck. And I think if that pilot had wanted to borrow fifty
pounds for an indefinite period on no security, we should have
engaged to lend it to him, among us, before his boat had dropped
astern, or (which is the same thing) before every scrap of news in
the paper he brought with him had become the common property of all
on board.

We turned in pretty late that night, and turned out pretty early
next morning. By six o'clock we clustered on the deck, prepared to
go ashore; and looked upon the spires, and roofs, and smoke, of
Liverpool. By eight we all sat down in one of its Hotels, to eat
and drink together for the last time. And by nine we had shaken
hands all round, and broken up our social company for ever.

The country, by the railroad, seemed, as we rattled through it,
like a luxuriant garden. The beauty of the fields (so small they
looked!), the hedge-rows, and the trees; the pretty cottages, the
beds of flowers, the old churchyards, the antique houses, and every
well-known object; the exquisite delights of that one journey,
crowding in the short compass of a summer's day, the joy of many
years, with the winding up with Home and all that makes it dear; no
tongue can tell, or pen of mine describe.


THE upholders of slavery in America - of the atrocities of which
system, I shall not write one word for which I have not had ample
proof and warrant - may be divided into three great classes.

The first, are those more moderate and rational owners of human
cattle, who have come into the possession of them as so many coins
in their trading capital, but who admit the frightful nature of the
Institution in the abstract, and perceive the dangers to society
with which it is fraught: dangers which however distant they may
be, or howsoever tardy in their coming on, are as certain to fall
upon its guilty head, as is the Day of Judgment.

The second, consists of all those owners, breeders, users, buyers
and sellers of slaves, who will, until the bloody chapter has a
bloody end, own, breed, use, buy, and sell them at all hazards:
who doggedly deny the horrors of the system in the teeth of such a
mass of evidence as never was brought to bear on any other subject,
and to which the experience of every day contributes its immense
amount; who would at this or any other moment, gladly involve
America in a war, civil or foreign, provided that it had for its
sole end and object the assertion of their right to perpetuate
slavery, and to whip and work and torture slaves, unquestioned by
any human authority, and unassailed by any human power; who, when
they speak of Freedom, mean the Freedom to oppress their kind, and
to be savage, merciless, and cruel; and of whom every man on his
own ground, in republican America, is a more exacting, and a
sterner, and a less responsible despot than the Caliph Haroun
Alraschid in his angry robe of scarlet.

The third, and not the least numerous or influential, is composed
of all that delicate gentility which cannot bear a superior, and
cannot brook an equal; of that class whose Republicanism means, 'I
will not tolerate a man above me: and of those below, none must
approach too near;' whose pride, in a land where voluntary
servitude is shunned as a disgrace, must be ministered to by
slaves; and whose inalienable rights can only have their growth in
negro wrongs.

It has been sometimes urged that, in the unavailing efforts which
have been made to advance the cause of Human Freedom in the
republic of America (strange cause for history to treat of!),
sufficient regard has not been had to the existence of the first
class of persons; and it has been contended that they are hardly
used, in being confounded with the second. This is, no doubt, the
case; noble instances of pecuniary and personal sacrifice have
already had their growth among them; and it is much to be regretted
that the gulf between them and the advocates of emancipation should
have been widened and deepened by any means: the rather, as there
are, beyond dispute, among these slave-owners, many kind masters
who are tender in the exercise of their unnatural power. Still, it
is to be feared that this injustice is inseparable from the state
of things with which humanity and truth are called upon to deal.
Slavery is not a whit the more endurable because some hearts are to
be found which can partially resist its hardening influences; nor
can the indignant tide of honest wrath stand still, because in its
onward course it overwhelms a few who are comparatively innocent,
among a host of guilty.

The ground most commonly taken by these better men among the
advocates of slavery, is this: 'It is a bad system; and for myself
I would willingly get rid of it, if I could; most willingly. But
it is not so bad, as you in England take it to be. You are
deceived by the representations of the emancipationists. The
greater part of my slaves are much attached to me. You will say
that I do not allow them to be severely treated; but I will put it
to you whether you believe that it can be a general practice to
treat them inhumanly, when it would impair their value, and would
be obviously against the interests of their masters.'

Is it the interest of any man to steal, to game, to waste his
health and mental faculties by drunkenness, to lie, forswear
himself, indulge hatred, seek desperate revenge, or do murder? No.
All these are roads to ruin. And why, then, do men tread them?
Because such inclinations are among the vicious qualities of
mankind. Blot out, ye friends of slavery, from the catalogue of
human passions, brutal lust, cruelty, and the abuse of
irresponsible power (of all earthly temptations the most difficult
to be resisted), and when ye have done so, and not before, we will
inquire whether it be the interest of a master to lash and maim the
slaves, over whose lives and limbs he has an absolute control!

But again: this class, together with that last one I have named,
the miserable aristocracy spawned of a false republic, lift up
their voices and exclaim 'Public opinion is all-sufficient to
prevent such cruelty as you denounce.' Public opinion! Why,
public opinion in the slave States IS slavery, is it not? Public
opinion, in the slave States, has delivered the slaves over, to the
gentle mercies of their masters. Public opinion has made the laws,
and denied the slaves legislative protection. Public opinion has
knotted the lash, heated the branding-iron, loaded the rifle, and
shielded the murderer. Public opinion threatens the abolitionist
with death, if he venture to the South; and drags him with a rope
about his middle, in broad unblushing noon, through the first city
in the East. Public opinion has, within a few years, burned a
slave alive at a slow fire in the city of St. Louis; and public
opinion has to this day maintained upon the bench that estimable
judge who charged the jury, impanelled there to try his murderers,
that their most horrid deed was an act of public opinion, and being
so, must not be punished by the laws the public sentiment had made.
Public opinion hailed this doctrine with a howl of wild applause,
and set the prisoners free, to walk the city, men of mark, and
influence, and station, as they had been before.

Public opinion! what class of men have an immense preponderance
over the rest of the community, in their power of representing
public opinion in the legislature? the slave-owners. They send
from their twelve States one hundred members, while the fourteen
free States, with a free population nearly double, return but a
hundred and forty-two. Before whom do the presidential candidates
bow down the most humbly, on whom do they fawn the most fondly, and
for whose tastes do they cater the most assiduously in their
servile protestations? The slave-owners always.

Public opinion! hear the public opinion of the free South, as
expressed by its own members in the House of Representatives at
Washington. 'I have a great respect for the chair,' quoth North
Carolina, 'I have a great respect for the chair as an officer of
the house, and a great respect for him personally; nothing but that
respect prevents me from rushing to the table and tearing that
petition which has just been presented for the abolition of slavery
in the district of Columbia, to pieces.' - 'I warn the
abolitionists,' says South Carolina, 'ignorant, infuriated
barbarians as they are, that if chance shall throw any of them into
our hands, he may expect a felon's death.' - 'Let an abolitionist
come within the borders of South Carolina,' cries a third; mild
Carolina's colleague; 'and if we can catch him, we will try him,
and notwithstanding the interference of all the governments on
earth, including the Federal government, we will HANG him.'

Public opinion has made this law. - It has declared that in
Washington, in that city which takes its name from the father of
American liberty, any justice of the peace may bind with fetters
any negro passing down the street and thrust him into jail: no
offence on the black man's part is necessary. The justice says, 'I
choose to think this man a runaway:' and locks him up. Public
opinion impowers the man of law when this is done, to advertise the
negro in the newspapers, warning his owner to come and claim him,
or he will be sold to pay the jail fees. But supposing he is a
free black, and has no owner, it may naturally be presumed that he
is set at liberty. No: HE IS SOLD TO RECOMPENSE HIS JAILER. This
has been done again, and again, and again. He has no means of
proving his freedom; has no adviser, messenger, or assistance of
any sort or kind; no investigation into his case is made, or
inquiry instituted. He, a free man, who may have served for years,
and bought his liberty, is thrown into jail on no process, for no
crime, and on no pretence of crime: and is sold to pay the jail
fees. This seems incredible, even of America, but it is the law.

Public opinion is deferred to, in such cases as the following:
which is headed in the newspapers:-


'An interesting case is now on trial in the Supreme Court, arising
out of the following facts. A gentleman residing in Maryland had
allowed an aged pair of his slaves, substantial though not legal
freedom for several years. While thus living, a daughter was born
to them, who grew up in the same liberty, until she married a free
negro, and went with him to reside in Pennsylvania. They had
several children, and lived unmolested until the original owner
died, when his heir attempted to regain them; but the magistrate
before whom they were brought, decided that he had no jurisdiction

'Cash for negroes,' 'cash for negroes,' 'cash for negroes,' is the
heading of advertisements in great capitals down the long columns
of the crowded journals. Woodcuts of a runaway negro with manacled
hands, crouching beneath a bluff pursuer in top boots, who, having
caught him, grasps him by the throat, agreeably diversify the
pleasant text. The leading article protests against 'that
abominable and hellish doctrine of abolition, which is repugnant
alike to every law of God and nature.' The delicate mamma, who
smiles her acquiescence in this sprightly writing as she reads the
paper in her cool piazza, quiets her youngest child who clings
about her skirts, by promising the boy 'a whip to beat the little
niggers with.' - But the negroes, little and big, are protected by
public opinion.

Let us try this public opinion by another test, which is important
in three points of view: first, as showing how desperately timid
of the public opinion slave-owners are, in their delicate
descriptions of fugitive slaves in widely circulated newspapers;
secondly, as showing how perfectly contented the slaves are, and
how very seldom they run away; thirdly, as exhibiting their entire
freedom from scar, or blemish, or any mark of cruel infliction, as
their pictures are drawn, not by lying abolitionists, but by their
own truthful masters.

The following are a few specimens of the advertisements in the
public papers. It is only four years since the oldest among them
appeared; and others of the same nature continue to be published
every day, in shoals.

'Ran away, Negress Caroline. Had on a collar with one prong turned

'Ran away, a black woman, Betsy. Had an iron bar on her right

'Ran away, the negro Manuel. Much marked with irons.'

'Ran away, the negress Fanny. Had on an iron band about her neck.'

'Ran away, a negro boy about twelve years old. Had round his neck
a chain dog-collar with "De Lampert" engraved on it.'

'Ran away, the negro Hown. Has a ring of iron on his left foot.
Also, Grise, HIS WIFE, having a ring and chain on the left leg.'

'Ran away, a negro boy named James. Said boy was ironed when he
left me.'

'Committed to jail, a man who calls his name John. He has a clog
of iron on his right foot which will weigh four or five pounds.'

'Detained at the police jail, the negro wench, Myra. Has several
marks of LASHING, and has irons on her feet.'

'Ran away, a negro woman and two children. A few days before she
went off, I burnt her with a hot iron, on the left side of her
face. I tried to make the letter M.'

'Ran away, a negro man named Henry; his left eye out, some scars
from a dirk on and under his left arm, and much scarred with the

'One hundred dollars reward, for a negro fellow, Pompey, 40 years
old. He is branded on the left jaw.'

'Committed to jail, a negro man. Has no toes on the left foot.'

'Ran away, a negro woman named Rachel. Has lost all her toes
except the large one.'

'Ran away, Sam. He was shot a short time since through the hand,
and has several shots in his left arm and side.'

'Ran away, my negro man Dennis. Said negro has been shot in the
left arm between the shoulder and elbow, which has paralysed the
left hand.'

'Ran away, my negro man named Simon. He has been shot badly, in
his back and right arm.'

'Ran away, a negro named Arthur. Has a considerable scar across
his breast and each arm, made by a knife; loves to talk much of the
goodness of God.'

'Twenty-five dollars reward for my man Isaac. He has a scar on his
forehead, caused by a blow; and one on his back, made by a shot
from a pistol.'

'Ran away, a negro girl called Mary. Has a small scar over her
eye, a good many teeth missing, the letter A is branded on her
cheek and forehead.'

'Ran away, negro Ben. Has a scar on his right hand; his thumb and
forefinger being injured by being shot last fall. A part of the
bone came out. He has also one or two large scars on his back and

'Detained at the jail, a mulatto, named Tom. Has a scar on the
right cheek, and appears to have been burned with powder on the

'Ran away, a negro man named Ned. Three of his fingers are drawn
into the palm of his hand by a cut. Has a scar on the back of his
neck, nearly half round, done by a knife.'

'Was committed to jail, a negro man. Says his name is Josiah. His
back very much scarred by the whip; and branded on the thigh and
hips in three or four places, thus (J M). The rim of his right ear
has been bit or cut off.'

'Fifty dollars reward, for my fellow Edward. He has a scar on the
corner of his mouth, two cuts on and under his arm, and the letter
E on his arm.'

'Ran away, negro boy Ellie. Has a scar on one of his arms from the
bite of a dog.'

'Ran away, from the plantation of James Surgette, the following
negroes: Randal, has one ear cropped; Bob, has lost one eye;
Kentucky Tom, has one jaw broken.'

'Ran away, Anthony. One of his ears cut off, and his left hand cut
with an axe.'

'Fifty dollars reward for the negro Jim Blake. Has a piece cut out
of each ear, and the middle finger of the left hand cut off to the
second joint.'

'Ran away, a negro woman named Maria. Has a scar on one side of
her cheek, by a cut. Some scars on her back.'

'Ran away, the Mulatto wench Mary. Has a cut on the left arm, a
scar on the left shoulder, and two upper teeth missing.'

I should say, perhaps, in explanation of this latter piece of
description, that among the other blessings which public opinion
secures to the negroes, is the common practice of violently
punching out their teeth. To make them wear iron collars by day
and night, and to worry them with dogs, are practices almost too
ordinary to deserve mention.

'Ran away, my man Fountain. Has holes in his ears, a scar on the
right side of his forehead, has been shot in the hind part of his
legs, and is marked on the back with the whip.'

'Two hundred and fifty dollars reward for my negro man Jim. He is
much marked with shot in his right thigh. The shot entered on the
outside, halfway between the hip and knee joints.'

'Brought to jail, John. Left ear cropt.'

'Taken up, a negro man. Is very much scarred about the face and
body, and has the left ear bit off.'

'Ran away, a black girl, named Mary. Has a scar on her cheek, and
the end of one of her toes cut off.'

'Ran away, my Mulatto woman, Judy. She has had her right arm

'Ran away, my negro man, Levi. His left hand has been burnt, and I
think the end of his forefinger is off.'

'Ran away, a negro man, NAMED WASHINGTON. Has lost a part of his
middle finger, and the end of his little finger.'

'Twenty-five dollars reward for my man John. The tip of his nose
is bit off.'

'Twenty-five dollars reward for the negro slave, Sally. Walks AS
THOUGH crippled in the back.'

'Ran away, Joe Dennis. Has a small notch in one of his ears.'

'Ran away, negro boy, Jack. Has a small crop out of his left ear.'

'Ran away, a negro man, named Ivory. Has a small piece cut out of
the top of each ear.'

While upon the subject of ears, I may observe that a distinguished
abolitionist in New York once received a negro's ear, which had
been cut off close to the head, in a general post letter. It was
forwarded by the free and independent gentleman who had caused it
to be amputated, with a polite request that he would place the
specimen in his 'collection.'

I could enlarge this catalogue with broken arms, and broken legs,
and gashed flesh, and missing teeth, and lacerated backs, and bites
of dogs, and brands of red-hot irons innumerable: but as my
readers will be sufficiently sickened and repelled already, I will
turn to another branch of the subject.

These advertisements, of which a similar collection might be made
for every year, and month, and week, and day; and which are coolly
read in families as things of course, and as a part of the current
news and small-talk; will serve to show how very much the slaves
profit by public opinion, and how tender it is in their behalf.
But it may be worth while to inquire how the slave-owners, and the
class of society to which great numbers of them belong, defer to
public opinion in their conduct, not to their slaves but to each
other; how they are accustomed to restrain their passions; what
their bearing is among themselves; whether they are fierce or
gentle; whether their social customs be brutal, sanguinary, and
violent, or bear the impress of civilisation and refinement.

That we may have no partial evidence from abolitionists in this
inquiry, either, I will once more turn to their own newspapers, and
I will confine myself, this time, to a selection from paragraphs
which appeared from day to day, during my visit to America, and
which refer to occurrences happening while I was there. The
italics in these extracts, as in the foregoing, are my own.

These cases did not ALL occur, it will be seen, in territory
actually belonging to legalised Slave States, though most, and
those the very worst among them did, as their counterparts
constantly do; but the position of the scenes of action in
reference to places immediately at hand, where slavery is the law;
and the strong resemblance between that class of outrages and the
rest; lead to the just presumption that the character of the
parties concerned was formed in slave districts, and brutalised by
slave customs.


'By a slip from THE SOUTHPORT TELEGRAPH, Wisconsin, we learn that
the Hon. Charles C. P. Arndt, Member of the Council for Brown
county, was shot dead ON THE FLOOR OF THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, by James
R. Vinyard, Member from Grant county. THE AFFAIR grew out of a
nomination for Sheriff of Grant county. Mr. E. S. Baker was
nominated and supported by Mr. Arndt. This nomination was opposed
by Vinyard, who wanted the appointment to vest in his own brother.
In the course of debate, the deceased made some statements which
Vinyard pronounced false, and made use of violent and insulting
language, dealing largely in personalities, to which Mr. A. made no
reply. After the adjournment, Mr. A. stepped up to Vinyard, and
requested him to retract, which he refused to do, repeating the
offensive words. Mr. Arndt then made a blow at Vinyard, who
stepped back a pace, drew a pistol, and shot him dead.

'The issue appears to have been provoked on the part of Vinyard,
who was determined at all hazards to defeat the appointment of
Baker, and who, himself defeated, turned his ire and revenge upon
the unfortunate Arndt.'


Public indignation runs high in the territory of Wisconsin, in
relation to the murder of C. C. P. Arndt, in the Legislative Hall
of the Territory. Meetings have been held in different counties of
LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS OF THE COUNTRY. We have seen the account of
the expulsion of James R. Vinyard, the perpetrator of the bloody
deed, and are amazed to hear, that, after this expulsion by those
who saw Vinyard kill Mr. Arndt in the presence of his aged father,
who was on a visit to see his son, little dreaming that he was to
Miners' Free Press speaks IN TERMS OF MERITED REBUKE at the outrage
upon the feelings of the people of Wisconsin. Vinyard was within
arm's length of Mr. Arndt, when he took such deadly aim at him,
that he never spoke. Vinyard might at pleasure, being so near,
have only wounded him, but he chose to kill him.'


By a letter in a St. Louis paper of the '4th, we notice a terrible
outrage at Burlington, Iowa. A Mr. Bridgman having had a
difficulty with a citizen of the place, Mr. Ross; a brother-in-law
of the latter provided himself with one of Colt's revolving
pistols, met Mr. B. in the street, AND DISCHARGED THE CONTENTS OF
though horribly wounded, and dying, returned the fire, and killed
Ross on the spot.'


'From the "Caddo Gazette," of the 12th inst., we learn the
frightful death of Colonel Robert Potter. . . . He was beset in his
house by an enemy, named Rose. He sprang from his couch, seized
his gun, and, in his night-clothes, rushed from the house. For
about two hundred yards his speed seemed to defy his pursuers; but,
getting entangled in a thicket, he was captured. Rose told him
THAT HE INTENDED TO ACT A GENEROUS PART, and give him a chance for
his life. He then told Potter he might run, and he should not be
interrupted till he reached a certain distance. Potter started at
the word of command, and before a gun was fired he had reached the
lake. His first impulse was to jump in the water and dive for it,
which he did. Rose was close behind him, and formed his men on the
bank ready to shoot him as he rose. In a few seconds he came up to
breathe; and scarce had his head reached the surface of the water
when it was completely riddled with the shot of their guns, and he
sunk, to rise no more!'


'We understand THAT A SEVERE RENCONTRE CAME OFF a few days since in
the Seneca Nation, between Mr. Loose, the sub-agent of the mixed
band of the Senecas, Quapaw, and Shawnees, and Mr. James Gillespie,
of the mercantile firm of Thomas G. Allison and Co., of Maysville,
Benton, County Ark, in which the latter was slain with a bowie-
knife. Some difficulty had for some time existed between the
parties. It is said that Major Gillespie brought on the attack
with a cane. A severe conflict ensued, during which two pistols
were fired by Gillespie and one by Loose. Loose then stabbed
Gillespie with one of those never-failing weapons, a bowie-knife.
The death of Major G. is much regretted, as he was a liberal-minded
and energetic man. Since the above was in type, we have learned
that Major Allison has stated to some of our citizens in town that
Mr. Loose gave the first blow. We forbear to give any particulars,


The steamer Thames, just from Missouri river, brought us a
handbill, offering a reward of 500 dollars, for the person who
assassinated Lilburn W. Baggs, late Governor of this State, at
Independence, on the night of the 6th inst. Governor Baggs, it is
stated in a written memorandum, was not dead, but mortally wounded.

'Since the above was written, we received a note from the clerk of
the Thames, giving the following particulars. Gov. Baggs was shot
by some villain on Friday, 6th inst., in the evening, while sitting
in a room in his own house in Independence. His son, a boy,
hearing a report, ran into the room, and found the Governor sitting
in his chair, with his jaw fallen down, and his head leaning back;
on discovering the injury done to his father, he gave the alarm.
Foot tracks were found in the garden below the window, and a pistol
picked up supposed to have been overloaded, and thrown from the
hand of the scoundrel who fired it. Three buck shots of a heavy
load, took effect; one going through his mouth, one into the brain,
and another probably in or near the brain; all going into the back
part of the neck and head. The Governor was still alive on the
morning of the 7th; but no hopes for his recovery by his friends,
and but slight hopes from his physicians.

'A man was suspected, and the Sheriff most probably has possession
of him by this time.

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